Nicola Bulley's partner pleads with Mercedes to track missing mum-of-two's car keys

14 February 2023, 11:19 | Updated: 15 February 2023, 16:53

Nicola Bulley has been missing for weeks - with speculation over whether she did enter the water emerging
Nicola Bulley has been missing for weeks - with speculation over whether she did enter the water emerging. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Will Taylor

Nicola Bulley's partner has urged Mercedes to track the missing mum-of-two's car keys as they were never found after her disappearance.

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Ms Bulley, who has been missing for more than two weeks, was walking along a towpath near the river in fields by St Michael’s on Wyre on January 27 when she vanished.

Only the 45-year-old's pet spaniel, which was found without a harness attached, and her phone – still connected to her Teams call and left on a bench – was found.

Her Mercedes had been left in a nearby car park.

Family friend Heather Gibbons said Ms Bulley's partner, Paul Ansell, had called for her keys to be tracked down "from the get go". 

"One of the first things he did was to contact Mercedes to see if they could be tracked," she told The Sun.

It comes after a search specialist claimed Ms Bulley must have been "shoved really hard" if she ended up in the river.

Peter Faulding, who scanned part of the river with sonar before declaring his belief she was not in the water, has now said if she went in she would need to have been pushed with force.

He has claimed police officers agree with him, too.

He launched a new "low-key" search and claimed that data suggests she did not usually walk near the Wyre river.

Read more: Shabby van, hooded men or fell in the river: Five theories about what happened to Nicola Bulley

Mr Faulding said: "The bench is quite a way back, so to actually get into the river you would have to be pushed very hard, or knocked out and shoved in the river.

"I mean the dog was dry here, so I don't believe that she's just slipped down the bank."

Ms Bulley has been missing for more than two weeks - and her partner Paul Ansell does not believe she fell into the river
Ms Bulley has been missing for more than two weeks - and her partner Paul Ansell does not believe she fell into the river. Picture: Social media

Partner of missing mother Nicola Bulley appeals to public for more information

He told The Telegraph: "There is lots of odd stuff here. If she isn't found then I would say something is not right. Police officers have been ringing saying they agree with me, this is an odd one.

"The police divers are very professional, they would have found her that day. There is no reason she would disappear. She was happy."

He is in charge of Specialist Group International and describes himself as an expert in search and rescue.

He arrived at the Lancashire village to much media attention and met with Paul Ansell, Ms Bulley's partner who has said he does not believe the mortgage adviser is in the water.

Read more: 'Offensive' Nicola Bulley voicemail sent to local councillor as workers bombarded with slew of late-night 'mystery calls'

Mr Faulding said he does not think she fell in there because he would have expected to find her where she went down.

His team and specialist police divers have searched sections of the river nearby and officers have also explored nearby areas and downstream in a bid to find the missing mother-of-two.

In new comments, Mr Faulding said he believed she was cautious and Strava data suggested she did not normally go near the river during her previous walks on the same route.

Peter Faulding spoke out again
Peter Faulding spoke out again. Picture: Alamy

On Sunday, Mr Faulding told The Telegraph that he was willing to start a land search.

"I've offered to go up privately and put my investigative mind to it. I'm visiting in my own time to discuss looking at other areas without interfering with the police operation," he said.

"Normally you carry out land searches, that's what the family want."

It comes as Lisa Squire, whose daughter Libby was raped and murdered and pushed into the river – to be discovered weeks later – has urged Mr Ansell to keep going.

"Please don't give up hope. Put one foot in front of the other and hope for that positive outcome," she said.